At any of the 15 Great Life Golf and Fitness locations, guests are encouraged to invent their own triathlon of gusto, switching from swimming in the pool to getting a total body workout to playing a round of golf. Great Life has facilities scattered throughout Kansas and Missouri, including golf courses such as the National Audubon Society–certified River Oaks and the links at The Oaks, which were designed by Tom Bendelow and opened in the 1920s. Golfers looking for quick rounds can drop by the nine-hole courses at Maple Creek, Abilene, and CedarBrook. Gyms such as the 14,000-square-foot fitness center at Berkshire allow members or guests to pump iron or run on treadmills when they aren’t helping their golf balls safely reach the greens by paying golf carts to drink all of the water hazards dry. Although amenities vary at each club, all of Great Life Golf and Fitness’s venues boast a pro shop, and the courses at Berkshire and Prairie View maintain driving ranges where golfers can make golf balls practice flying without their parachutes.
Any amateur golfer who has ever wondered what separates their swing from that of a pro can find out at Martin City Sports Complex. The sports haven's ModelGolf system compares fledgling swings with an analyzed composite of more than 120 PGA and LPGA pros, charting the similarities and differences. Afterward, golfers can take that information and work toward the ideal at the complex's 28-person double-decker driving range, where heated stalls host year-round practice and keep winter players from mistaking a snowball for a golf ball. And as swings become more refined, the resident club expert, Bert Benjamin, can create a club custom-fitted to each player.
Although golf—in both regular-sized and miniature form—is undeniably the focus at Martin City, it's not the only sport celebrated there. Paintball finds its place with both a speedball area and wooded arena, which players ride to in a real army truck. Each summer, athletes can also find a small sliver of the Atlantic beach in Kansas City by stepping up to the net at Martin City's sand volleyball courts.
The acoustic whoosh of swooping golf clubs welcomes players to Peculiar Golf & Learning Center, where a stable of 16 driving range stalls fosters flusher drives and straighter approaches for players of all abilities. The range features both natural grass and artificial turf hitting surfaces, and clubbers can take aim at distant targets or windswept parade floats from covered or open-air hitting bays, all of which are illuminated by towering lights for late-night practice. A staff of resident aces presides over lessons conducted at the Center, where they help correct swing imbalances and illiterate clubs at the Center's practice green or sand bunker. A fully-stocked pro shop rounds out the Center's deep reservoir of golf resources with an array of clubs, bags, apparel, and other golf gear from brands such as Ping, Callaway, Nike, and TaylorMade.
Deer Creek Golf Club’s experienced staff, plush facilities, and picturesque championship course create an enjoyably mummy-free outdoor experience for golfers of any handicap. After calling to reserve a tee time, ball-banging golf-cart gurus can wreak polite and well-dressed havoc while carefully soft-spiking across all 18 of Deer Creek Golf Club’s holes, which have been designed to test the skills of experienced club-wielders while still giving beginners an exciting, accessible playing field. An included cart rental lets you easily navigate the course’s 6,811 yards of beautiful rolling hillocks, winding waterways, and tree-friendly areas while providing a means of escape from herds of disgruntled deer statues.
Culled from the cranium of renowned Scottish course-crafter Donald Ross nearly a century ago, Hillcrest merges idyllic, sweeping greens with lush forestry to forge an unforgettable 6,774 yards of play on its par 72 course. Clink clubs with a close friend or sentient pair of Hulk Hands when cruising Hillcrest's historic 18 holes, peppered with rolling zoysia fairways and handy manifold tee boxes to accommodate players of all stripes. Following the final putt and strut, hungry golfers can indulge in a post-round feast at the club's bar and grill, which offers guests a mouthwatering medley of hearty sandwiches, scrumptious sides, and fountain drinks. Hillcrest offers rentals of golf carts for an additional $18.
From their perch atop the elevated tee box on Teetering Rocks Golf Course’s signature third hole, players attack the heart-shaped green with a barrage of dimpled spheres. This memorable stroke represents just one component of a player’s bid for the 18-hole track’s par of 65, a difficult feat that stands at odds with the course’s relaxed ambiance. Clocking in at 4,309 yards from the back tees, the course typically takes less than three hours to complete, leaving the rest of a player’s day wide open for polishing golf balls and engaging a passion for golf-club puppetry.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-65 course
Total length of 4,309 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 58.9 from the back tees
Course slope of 90 from the back tees
A staff of PGA professionals oversees the improvement of all-around games as juniors and adults refine their skills on Heart of America Golf Academy’s extensive grounds. Encompassing sprawling practice facilities and three golf courses, the facility gives players multiple amenities for working on their form. Golfers can play a nine-hole round at the River Course or practice short-game touch at the par 3 Rock Course; beginners can make a smooth foray into the game at the Hill, a three-hole junior learning center. Players can also head to the 36-station driving range, where grass tees mimic fairway conditions and double as smoothie enhancers for budding golfers.